Last night Samoa Joe put his NXT Championship on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura at WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2. Both men had a hard-fought match that lived up to expectations going in. Fans expected it to be a hard-hitting, sort of major strong style fight. Not a wrestling match, but a fight. It surely was just that as both men hit hard and often. We all knew Nakamura was more than capable of hitting a strike at almost any point, but people forget that Samoa Joe can also do this just as easily.
Nakamura did get the last strike, which led to him winning the NXT Championship. It took a lot to take out the Samoan Submission Machine, but Nakamura was able to win the title in less than a year since he first debuted. The talk after the match was not just about Nakamura, but also about Joe. Toward the end of the match, Nakamura hit a knee strike on Samoa Joe that looked really really hard.
It seems Nakamura got a bit too close or Joe didn’t turn right, as Joe got clocked big time in the jaw by Nakamura’s knee. Joe was visibly jarred by it and was seen holding his jaw in obvious pain. Nakamura would then hit his knee from behind and then another to the face to end the match. Joe would go to the outside after Nakamura won and according to a correspondent for Ringside News, the ref held up the “X” sign.
It was partly on camera, but a lot of what was going on with Samoa Joe was off camera as the camera went to the new NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, and rightfully so. It does appear that Joe is hurt, but to what extent is unknown. The doctors did reportedly spend some time with him on the outside and then took him to the back to get evaluated further. He very well could have a broken jaw from the knee, which would make sense due to how flush Nakamura landed it on Joe. This is bad news for Samoa Joe in multiple ways.
While the injury clearly is the worst part of it, we also know from the rumor mill that he could be headed to the main roster soon. With Alberto Del Rio most likely out of the door soon, there will be a major need for another good mid-card heel on WWE SmackDown Live. It makes sense to add Samoa Joe to this brand due to both need and the way the show is run. First and foremost, a former WWE NXT writer heads up the SmackDown Live staff when it comes to creative.
Second, the show is called the wrestling show for good reason. There is less talk and more action, however when there is talk it seems that there is some value in it. Look at Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler’s segments the last few weeks alone. Samoa Joe is more action than talk and he has proven he can work with just about anyone, which makes him valuable to WWE because he can both make himself look good as well as his opponent, regardless of whether or not he is planned to win. There are connections in various ways, plus there is a use. So it makes sense to see him go blue.
Samoa Joe has proven on WWE NXT that he is more than capable of being on the main roster and now that NXT has already and will be bringing a lot of big name talent in, Samoa Joe is not needed on the roster as much. This means the main roster is a good spot for him, considering there is a need and a spot he can easily fill. This does not mean Joe will become the WWE World Champion, but it does mean he will get a shot to become a major star in the business even more than he already is.
Samoa Joe will most likely work both NXT and SmackDown Live if he is called up, so that he can finish up his program with Shinsuke Nakamura. He does have a rematch that makes sense for him to get. The real issue here is that Joe could be hurt and have to miss action due to it. The jaw is a problem for Joe right now, but if there is no major issue then he clearly can work the match with Nakamura at the next WWE NXT Takeover event, then officially be done with the yellow brand.
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